Wednesday Briefing: TDC Finds Its Local Soul, Netanyahu Loses His
FlaglerLive | March 18, 2015
Flagler County’s Tourist Development Council meets this morning. Borrowing a page from Palm Coast’s recently trademarked tag-line (“Find Your Florida”) the county’s tourism division is going for its own tag-line: “Find Your Local Soul” as it discusses its strategy, with a focus on leisure, luxury, eco-tourism and sports.
January revenue from the 4 percent sales surtax, levied on short-term rentals and hotel and motel accommodations, again breaks a record for the month, coming ion at $115,326, which appears to be the fourth successive record-breaking figure (in each of the last four months). The money is awarded to local organizations through various grants that fuel more tourism. Today, the tourism council will hear grant requests from a half dozen organizations, including Friends of Washington Oaks Gardens State Park, three soccer organizations, the Florida Horseshoe association and United States of Lifesaving Association, the beach lifeguard organization, which is holding its southeast regional tournament in the county from July 15 to July 17. (10 a.m. at the Government Services Building, and broadcast live here.)
Palm Coast’s Planning Board meeting, scheduled for today, has been cancelled.
Flagler County’s Technical Review Committee meets at 9 a.m. in the Government Services Building’s first-floor conference room. The agenda is here.
In court: A pre-trial hearing before Judge Walsh for Robert Revels, accused of lewd and lascivious conduct and exhibition, is scheduled for 9 a.m. A plea hearing is scheduled for 1 p.m. in the case of James Simmons III, an inmate accused of masturbating in front of a teacher at the Flagler County jail, during a GED class. Both hearings are in Courtroom 401.
At the Legislature:
The House Higher Education & Workforce Subcommittee takes up HB 4005, which would allow people with concealed-carry permits to carry firearms on campuses of colleges and universities in Florida. (9 a.m., Reed Hall, House Office Building, the Capitol.)
The House Justice Appropriations Subcommittee will consider a proposal (PCB JUAS 15-01) that addresses the dispute between the state and counties regarding what portion of juvenile justice costs each should pay. (9 a.m., Morris Hall, House Office Building, the Capitol.)
The Senate Appropriations Committee takes up a series of bill dealing with how Amendment 1 money–from real estate transactions, money earmarked for land and water conservation–is to be doled out. (1:30 p.m., 412 Knott Building, the Capitol.)
In the press:
Netanyahu wins again: After running a campaign that in its last days included race-baiting (he warned of Arabs voting “in droves” Tuesday in hopes of bringing out more Jews to the polls) and the end of 22 years of Israeli work toward a two-state solution (he pledged on Monday never to allow a Palestinian state), Benjamin Netanyahu was the decisive victor in Israel’s elections, clearing the way for an unprecedented fourth term as prime minister. From Haaretz: “In some ways it was very reminiscent of the same hour 19 years ago, when we realized that those who had gone to sleep with Prime Minister Shimon Peres were about to wake up to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Only then, the shift was by a fraction of a decimal point. Last night, huge chunks of votes moved from column to column, as the dead heat between Likud and the Zionist Union – as surprising and near-unimaginable it had been earlier in the evening – was developing into a rout of almost landslide dimensions. […] No one in his immediate circle – and certainly none of the senior Likud figures who yesterday were planning their moves in a post-Bibi era – expected anything near this result. The most that any of them had dared to hope for was a closing of the gap which had opened the previous week between Zionist Union and Likud.” The analysis. The Times writes: “But along the way he angered the president of the United States with a speech to Congress and infuriated European leaders eager to see the peace process move ahead to create a Palestinian state. David Axelrod, President Obama’s former senior adviser, said Tuesday evening on Twitter that Mr. Netanyahu’s last-minute stand against a Palestinian state might have helped ensure him another victory. “Tightness of exits in Israel suggests Bibi’s shameful 11th-hour demagoguery may have swayed enough votes to save him. But at what cost?” he wrote.”
Florida ranks 2nd in the nation in the rate of uninsured: “U.S. Census Bureau figures released on Tuesday show that Florida had an uninsured rate of 24.3 percent in 2013. Only Texas had a higher rate at 24.8 percent. The lowest rate was 4.3 percent in Massachusetts. Despite the high ranking, Florida’s uninsured rate has declined since 2010 when it was 25.3 percent. Federal figures released last month show that Florida is the state with the highest number of consumers buying health coverage through new insurance markets under the Affordable Care Act. Florida’s roughly 1.6 million enrollees include both first time enrollees and some of the nearly 1 million Floridians who enrolled last year.” The 2013 figures pre-date trhe large enrollment surge in 2014 and 2015.